The Dangers of Vaping
by City Manager Ken Striplin
At the beginning of the school year, we gathered medical experts, deputies, educators, addiction counselors and more, to share with parents and students the dangers of vaping. The theme of this year’s Parent Resource Symposium was “Head in the Clouds: Truth about Vaping,” and it was definitely a timely and important topic in our community.
The turnout for the event was astounding. Nearly 250 people packed the Council Chambers at City Hall, some sitting on the floor, to hear about the dangerous trend that is causing lung disease and even resulting in deaths across the country. Our Juvenile Intervention Team Detectives from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Department say the issue is ramping up and is becoming a serious health concern for youth throughout the valley. Not only are they seeing an increase of high school and junior high students vaping; they’ve even seen instances of it in elementary-aged kids.
These disturbing facts have parents, deputies, educators and elected officials working together to protect our community. In October, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted to ban all flavored tobacco products. Our City Council has issued a moratorium on any new vape shops or retailers in the City. We will continue to research what policies or ordinances our City can put into place to protect our youth.
This topic is also being discussed through our Drug-Free Youth in the Santa Clarita Valley Program or DFY in SCV. Parents can visit DFYinSCV.com for tips on how to talk to their kids about vaping, drugs and alcohol. The most important thing you can do as a parent is to keep an open dialogue about vaping. Try using an open-ended question like “What do you think about vaping?” to get the conversation going. Some signs that your child might be vaping include several online purchases, a faint scent of bubblegum or chocolate cake or increased thirst.
As parents, we need to look out for our youth and help them make good choices. Talk to your kids today about the dangers of vaping.
City Manager Ken Striplin can be reached at Kstriplin@santa-clarita.com